Along the Border

The Slovak-Austrian border is a bit of a surprise. There is a hell of a lot of rubbish – old plastic stuff for the most part, beer cans (labelled in German and Slovak) and rusty bits of metal. However, one can find also some pretty good wildlife there – albeit mostly on the Austrian side. Deer came in abundance, grazing, running, and providing nourishment for others.deer1 deer2

The same can be said about the European hare.hare1hare2hare3

Although we’d picked a bit of a windy day for our excursion, the larks seemed completely unperturbed by the weather and sang. I’m not sure if this little fellow is a skylark or a crested lark, but he sang beautifully!lark

Buzzards went on circling above our heads or enjoying lunch on dead deer or rabbits.buzzard and Bratislava We also saw a number of pheasants, but they were always way too fast for us and flew away. The highlight of our little excursion was the Great Bustard. The species is endangered, so we were very happy to, firstly, see them at all, and on top of that, see three different flocks with each about 15 to 25 individuals. greatbustards1greatbustards2

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Near Neusiedler See

A sunny Saturday, so where to go? This time we made our way to Austria, to Neusiedl am Neusiedler See. It’s apparently the second largest reed-area in Europe, after the estuary of the Danube. male mallardThe reeds are home to common sights like the mallard, but provide also a home to rare birds like the hen harrier. – Thanks again to @titodaking for helping with the ID! In hen harrierand around the wetland was a lot to be heard (e.g. coots), but kept well out if sight.

Human influence we saw everywhere: in the sky,

iron birdon the roofs,

plastic owland their pets on the ground. cat

Amphibians are coming out of hibernation: frogs

Starlings are back from their migration. starling

Old friends are still around (woodpigeon, Great spotted woodpecker, goldfinch and field sparrow).wood pigeon Woodpecker goldfinch field sparrow